¡PANAMA!. Panamanian demographics. LOCATION: Central & South America GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Democracy OFFICIAL LANGUAGE : Spanish (official), English 14% MAJOR RELIGION(S): Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
In 1510, Vasco Núñez de Balboa founded Santa María la Antigua del Darién was a Spanish colonial town located in present-day Colombia .
News of a new kingdom, rich in gold, was received by Balboa with great interest.
The men erected stone pyramids, and engraved crosses on the barks of trees with their swords, to mark the place where the "discovery" of the South Sea was made.
Balboa claiming possession of the South Sea
Sir Francis Drake initially arrived in Panama during his 1572-73 expedition, and left with silver
His coffin was discovered by some present day divers who notified the British Government. The Government said not to desecrate the grave of a British Knight. It is not known what happened to the coffin after this.
In 1821 Panama gained its independence from Spain but joined with Columbia.
Later, when Colombia rejected the United States’ plans to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, the U.S. supported a revolution that led to the independence of Panama in 1903.
The division of the country of Panama into two parts by the U.S. territory of the Canal Zone caused tension throughout the twentieth century.
Additionally, the self-contained Canal Zone (the official name for the U.S. territory in Panama) contributed little to the Panamanian economy.
The residents of the Canal Zone were primarily U.S. citizens and West Indians who worked in the Zone and on the canal.
The canal makes the trip from the east coast to the west coast of the U.S. much shorter than the route taken around the tip of South America prior to 1914.
It takes approximately fifteen hours to traverse the canal through its three sets of locks (about half the time is spent waiting due to traffic).
When the canal treaties were finally ratified—after emotional debates in both countries—Torrijos relinquished the presidential chair to Aristides Royo, a civilian, but reappeared every so often to let people know he was still in charge.
Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, Noriega was able to manipulate U.S. policy toward his country, while skillfully accumulating near-absolute power in Panama.
Noriega strengthened his position as de facto ruler in August 1983 by promoting himself to full general. Noriega, being paid by the CIA, extended new rights to the United States, and, despite the canal treaties, allowed the U.S. to set up listening posts in Panama. He aided the American-backed guerrillas in Nicaragua by acting as a conduit for U.S. money and, according to some accounts, weapons.
On December 11, 2011, more than two decades after the U.S. forced him from power, Manuel Noriega returned to Panama on Sunday as a prisoner and, to many of those he once ruled with impunity, an irrelevant man.
Kuna or Cuna is the name of an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia. The spelling Kuna is currently preferred.
The Kuna are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. Mola panels are used to make the blouses of the Kuna women's national dress, which is worn daily by many Kuna women. Mola means "clothing" in the Kuna language.
The Chocó, or Embera people live in small villages of 5 to 20 houses along the banks of the rivers.
The land is community owned and community farmed. Everyone in the village pitches in to work at harvest time
They paint their bodies with a dye made from the berry of a species of genip tree. The black dye is thought to repel insects.
Eye Contact: Panamanians tend to favor direct eye contact over indirect.